- Friday, 17 August 2012
The National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (NFOP) welcomes the news that the Coalition has U-turned on the Dilnot recommendation to cap the costs that anyone would have to pay for their care over their lifetime. But General Secretary, Roger Turner, has concerns that this decision is just political spin to gain “grey-panther” votes.
The recent NFOP campaign, ‘Doing Nothing is Not an Option’ demanded reform to funding social care. On 4 July, NFOP members and supporters marched through Westminster to present 15,000 signed postcards to the Department of Health. However, the Care and Support White Paper and draft Bill that followed failed to address the issue of funding.
Roger Turner, General Secretary of NFOP, said: “There was a huge amount of anger and disappointment following the release of the Care and Support White Paper and draft Bill.
“I think this latest U-turn has made it clear that all the political parties have felt the mounting pressure to deal with the proverbial elephant in the room. But 2017 as a potential implementation date is still too far away and well after the next general election.
“This manoeuvre smacks of pouring oil on troubled waters in time for the party conferences. Paul Burstow said that much more work had to be done on gathering information to introduce changes to funding and that it would be part of the next Comprehensive Spending Review. So, how is this announcement different from what is already planned? Is it a last ditch attempt to engender the “grey-panther” votes? After all the attacks on pensioners and benefits, is the Coalition Government seeking to mend fences with those who are a powerful voting section of the electorate?
“Reform to funding social care is not something that should be used as a bartering tool on the run-up to the elections. If there was cross-party consensus on the Dilnot recommendations, it is the responsibility of all the parties to implement a plan that works for everyone, regardless of political persuasion, before 2015.”
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